WAT’s Proust Questionnaire: Floanne –
Celebrating Bastille Day at Joe’s Pub

What better way to celebrate Bastille Day, July 14, than by listening to the talented, elegant songstress Floanne? For the third year, Floanne will present her solo concert at Joe’s Pub for Francophiles and everyone else. Her new program, “Love Is French,“ weaves vintage songs into a didactic presentation, dissecting with humor and Wisdom the cliché that romances can be.

Floanne has built up a reputation on the cabaret scene as a singer who interprets the Edith Piaf repertoire with her own special touch. At Joe’s Pub, she will be backed up by some of Manhattan’s best jazz musicians. To buy tickets for the July 14 show, go to the website for Joe’s Pub.

Known in the nightclub scene as an interpreter of French chanson and the Edith Piaf repertoire, Floanne is backed by some of New York’s top jazz improvisers. Passionate about lyrics and acoustics, she is an “instrument”—resonating songs with her chanteuse and coloratura sound.

Floanne took time out from her rehearsing to answer WAT’s Proust Questionnaire written by Jason Veduccio.

What was your ideal job before the current situation?
Since I arrived in New York as a student, I have been working very hard to give myself fulfilling professional opportunities. I currently work as an actress, singer, director, voiceover artist, coach… It hasn’t changed since I started my life… It’s always a work in progress, but I feel I have never been this close to what I imagined it would be like.

What job did you hate?
It’s hard to commit yourself 100% when the people you work with are not on the same page… I tried to stay away from the service industry with my pretty French accent, because it’s easy money with a lot of stress. I thought if I worked exclusively as a performer, I might become good at it.

What people inspired you to follow this path?
My mother.

Floanne2When you were sixteen, whom did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was sixteen I behaved like if I was already a grown up, I thought I had my life under control. The first time someone asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I was 7 years-old, and I couldn’t decide between becoming a dancer or being the boss. Maybe that’s not so far from where I am now: performing and producing some of the work I am part of.

How old would you be if age didn’t matter?
Maybe I’m too young to answer this question, but to me New Yorkers are pretty ageless: old souls with youthful personalities. New York is the place to be!

How many people in your life would you call a close friend?
When you come from another country, you lose touch with some of your childhood friends. Then studying and working in different fields also makes it harder to keep the same people in your life: they fluctuate. It’s harder for us performers, but the five friends who stayed close over the years are my family.

Who would get you excited to attend a meeting if you knew they would be there?
I would be excited to meet someone new who has time for a meaningful conversation. As an artist you really feed yourself from discovering others, their experience, their differences.

Floanne polkaWhat was the tipping point in getting you into your current professional position?
Before moving to New York, I was a good student and I thought if I went into business I would become ruthless; so much that my own kids wouldn’t love me. Performing arts allow me to be much more vulnerable and closer to who I am inside!

What is the single most important thing to do to be successful?
Show up and keep getting up! Personally I like morphing and studying different disciplines so I always feel renewed in my artistic practice.

What is the most over-rated thing about being successful?
Successful is a state of mind, not the result. This business is such that you might get nowhere with the right attitude, or on the contrary everything might click without moving a finger. So yeah, being successful is enjoying what you do every day, and value the people that are part of your work life!

What could you use right now if someone would invent it for you?
I like this question because I don’t know the answer. I would like a blue spicy pill that allows me to travel the world when I close my eyes. I would think of a place, and immediately be transported to the most magnificent places on Earth. It’s hard to allow ourselves to get out of town when working as an performing career. I have to do more traveling.

What should young people know as they leave school?
It’s going to be okay. At the end of the day, we are not that special.

What do you do most when together with your family?
I don’t see my family too often, so I guess most of what we do is celebrate holidays and birthdays. Unless you meant my New York family… then we hang!!

What do you love to do with your free time lately that you would rather not admit?
Hahaha… I am torn between decorating the house, and catching up with TV shows online. I am not sure which is worse.

Floanne BlueWhat personal or professional goals do you have for yourself for two years from now?
I am very driven in my career. It seems that stuff is pretty in line and evolves with the people I meet. So now I am more interested on a mellow lifestyle, with fewer projects, so that creating becomes more meaningful and satisfying.

What does your most commonly eaten lunch consist of?
I do well with breakfast, and dinner is always fun. So lunch is an afterthought for me. It’s in the middle of me doing things and sometimes I skip it. Unless you’re inviting me, may I have a Cobb salad with a glass of Côtes du Rhône?

Who is your favorite fashion designer for business clothes?
My wardrobe is kind of funky, I have dresses for work (concerts) and I do business at my studio in comfortable skirts. I love getting ready for auditions, where the outfit really gives you the edge of the character, then again, not very business-y. Maybe when I grow up I will wear business clothes.

What do you need to get through the day that you would least like to sacrifice right now?
I guess the computer.

What do you need to get through the day that you would most like to sacrifice right now?
You know, maybe the computer…

If all of humanity was to stop what they were doing and focus on working together on just one thing through to its completion, what is it we should we all be doing in your opinion?
Take a big breath and look inward.